Why Scalia has it backwards on harm

Justice Scalia made some comments that seemed to defend the Prop 8 side on the harm that might come from allowing gay marriage to become legal in this country. He states that even though California does allow for couples with homosexual partners to adopt (and as such California does not believe that adoption by couples of homosexual partners is harmful to the children) that other states do believe it to be harmful and that it is something that should be considered in this deliberation over the topic on if equal marriage should be made legal nationwide because then you could absolutely have adoptions done by couples with homosexual partners.

Now, Justice Scalia seems to have it backwards. He, and the proponents of prop 8, seem to argue that because there is no scientific data showing a lack of harm on children being raised by couples with homosexual partners that it means you should be able to ban gay marriage (since allowing gay marriage would allow those couples to adopt). As I discussed on Liberal Dan Radio this week, such logic is flawed. In order for government to have a rational basis to ban an activity it should have to prove the activity is harmful. Not the other way around. If government cannot prove the activity is harmful, it should be considered to have no rational basis to ban it.

Liberal Dan Radio: March 28, 2013.

Tonight on Liberal Dan Radio:

I will go into several areas where some Conservatives just don’t understand what is going on.

This will be the first of many shows where I go into the recent arguments made at the Supreme Court on the topic of marriage equality. There is a lot of audio so this topic will be split over several shows. But on this show I want to talk about some arguements made by Conservatives on this issue that show they are out of touch.
I also want to talk about the topic of Dr. Ben Carson. He is a well respected and well awarded Doctor who made history. However, he is also a conservative and he happens to be black. Conservatives must think that this affords him a pass. And when they raise him up as a possible Presidential Candidate and liberals attack his stances, the liberals are called racist. But who are the real racists here (if any)?

Those topics, headlines, and more, tonight on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk from the left, that’s right!

Liberal Dan Radio: March 21, 2013 CPAC, Rape Culture and Tolls

On tonight’s episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

CPAC met last week. I will go over some of the audio that will either make you laugh or cry.

I will go over the tweet of the week which references many of the horrific rape apologia that went on after the Steubenville rape verdicts were announced. And if you thought victim blaming only went on in that town, you are wrong…

Finally, an update on the tolls. Your’s truly was booed at a town hall meeting the other day for daring to suggest that all the votes should count. I had an interesting discussion with Pat Hand, attorney for stop the tolls, that might have you questioning how he ever was able to graduate law school. Some other news and notes about the tolls will also be discussed.

All that, headlines, and more. Tonight on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk from the left, that’s right.

Liberal Dan Radio: March 14th, 2013

On tonight’s episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Voter disenfranchisement in Louisiana. The election to overturn the toll renewal in New Orleans is being thrown out because of some issues with the provisional ballots. See why the the ruling is trampling voter rights and is par for the course for Conservatives across this country.

The FDA is going to consider a request by the milk industry to change what can be called “milk”. See how you can petition your government to stop this abusive change.

New York’s soft drink law was thrown out. Why should it have existed in the first place and how has Mississippi gone completely off the wall in making an “Anti-Bloomberg” law and why is that similar to what is being asked of the FDA?

Those topics and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk from the left, that’s right.

It’s not about the tolls anymore.

UPDATE: I have created a new Facebook Group to Stop the May 4th Toll Disenfranchisement. Join now!


In a previous post I had stated I was glad that the judge ruled against the tolls because it would give people time to see how life without the tolls would be. This would at least paint a partial picture so people could get a more informed view of the results of having no tolls on the bridge.

However, as I have had time to think about the results, the problems of having this “re-vote” are becoming more and more apparent and the attitudes of many of the anti-toll activists are shining through as clear as day.

We were told by G. Patrick Hand (attorney for Michael Teachworth, head of stopthetolls.org) that the reason for the lawsuit over the result of the election is to “ensure the integrity of the election“. However, after the election, Michael Teachworth gives a contradictory statement as to what this was all about. He states: “This is really about the little guy getting another shot, that’s what this is all about.” So what is it? Is it about making sure the election maintains its integrity or is it about the “little guy” getting another shot.

Well this isn’t Rocky II nor is this about maintaining election integrity. This is about the “no tolls” faction making sure that their side wins no matter what. It is about the ends justifying the means. It is about “stop the tolls” making sure as FEW people vote on this proposal as possible. When they couldn’t win convincingly at the polls, the group pushed to disenfranchise the thousands of voters who cast a valid ballot for the hundreds of voters who turned in a legal provisional ballot but were not able to cast a vote on the toll issue.

Let’s be very clear. People who were unable to vote should be allowed to vote. Louisiana law allows for this remedy without tossing out the legally cast ballots of others. The same statute used by the judge in this case to call a re-vote also allows a call for a “restricted election” where only certain voters are allowed to vote. If the stop the tolls organization really wanted to maintain the integrity of the election and make sure that as many legally cast ballots were counted, they would have pushed for this remedy and not for the remedy that throws out thousands of legally cast ballots.

However, with the exception of one very loud liberal friend of mine, most of the people who I have met who oppose the tolls are Conservatives. They are the kind of people who think that winning at all costs is OK. Their mindset in this election is like the PA GOP who gerrymandered districts because they won state elections in 2010. Their mindset is like the Republicans in other states that want to make it so that the winner of a state’s popular vote could get less than half of the electoral college votes. To them, the ends justify the means. To me, they do not.

Thousands of people should not be asked to vote twice in order for hundreds to vote once. Just allow everyone to cast a vote once, count the votes, and let the election results speak for themselves. If at the end of the day those voters care enough about the issue and they come out in opposition to the tolls and they lose, then so be it. They will be gone. But the possibility exists that even if none of those provisional voters come out on May 4th that the election could still be overturned. How on earth is that “fair”? How on earth is that maintaining the “integrity” of the election?


Alyssa Royse on Liberal Dan Radio 3/7/2013

On the March 7th episode of Liberal Dan Radio I welcome Alyssa Royse to discuss a myriad of topics. Listen to the show (or podcast if you listen late) here.

Cool Mini or Not has a new kickstarter: Zombicide: Season 2

Alyssa Royse can be found at her personal blog, the good men project, and Not So Secret. The video I spoke about on the show can be watched here.

Add your comments on the show below.

Why the toll ruling is a good thing.

Earlier today the election to continue the tolls on the Crescent City Connection was thrown out and a new election was set for May 4th (May the Fourth be with you). The reason given was that provisional ballots that were given to voters only contained federal candidates and did not allow for those voters to cast ballots on the toll issue. Whoever was responsible for those provisional ballots needs to be reprimanded because this, on top of our recent water issues in the City of New Orleans, is helping to prove that we are just a third world city.

But while the ballot integrity may make the re-vote a necessity, it is not the reason why I am happy the re-vote will happen. See, back during the election I made this post about the Crescent City Connection toll election. I made some claims about how traffic conditions on the bridge would become worse without the tolls. I witnessed some of this first hand after hurricane Issac. However, it was not really possible for me to prove it. We couldn’t have asked for a “dry run” so the voters could see what a toll free bridge would be like. Now that we will have two whole months without tolls, the drivers on the Westbank who commute to New Orleans every morning will witness what happens to their commute first hand. If I am wrong then great, the tolls will go away and I will admit that I am wrong. However, if I am right…. if the traffic becomes more congested without the regulating impact of the tolls to help ease the flow from 12 lanes to 4 and if there are more accidents because people are travelling at higher rates of speed as their cars are required to merge down to 4 lanes then the people of the Westbank will see what I have been saying all along and will realize the 40 cents of tolls they pay each day to travel to work will be worth the shortened commute time they are given by having well regulated traffic going through the toll booths.

Mike Teachworth of Stop The Tolls is happy that the Westbank voters will get another chance to stop these “unfair tolls”. Well, I personally do not consider the tolls to be unfair because I also believe that people who use a bridge should be the ones who pay for the maintenance of the bridge. But I think Mr. Teachworth will also be sadly mistaken when more and more Westbank traffic goers learn just how badly the traffic can get when the tolls are gone.

And what I found the most amusing today was that previously Paul Connick had suggested that the toll collections in the afternoon were causing a backup of Eastbank bound traffic. Well, the tolls were gone today and the backup was just as bad as ever. Perhaps that backup could be blamed on, oh… I don’t know… the SUN IN THEIR EYES? Nah, that couldn’t be it…

Update: People seem to think that two days of traffic is proof that I am wrong with my fears about how the traffic may have issues. It obviously is not. And I may very well be wrong about the traffic and if I am I will definitely admit it. However, the biggest concern is the people merging from 12 lanes to 4 at a faster rate of speed than they were doing so previously. This, to me, would obviously be less safe. Does that mean more accidents will happen every day? Obviously not. However, I do believe that in heavy traffic times we will see an uptick in accidents that take place over the next 8 weeks. And again, if I am wrong I will admit it. I am just asking the anti-toll folks to also have an open mind and look at the data we are able to collect because of this ruling.

Why I hate the word “Mansplaining”

For those who do not know, “mansplaining” is when a man acts in a condescending and bigoted way towards a female. Often it is done by a man telling a woman how she should feel on women’s issues. I do not have sympathy for men who are correctly labelled as being condescending and bigoted towards women.

But men talking down to women is not the only example of people of privilege talking town to people who lack privilege. There are many other examples. Like white people being condescending and speaking from positions of authority on minority issues. Like straight people doing that on LGBT issues. Like CIS gendered people doing that on trans folk issues. Mansplaining doesn’t cover those things yet we manage to discuss them without being offensive to privileged folks who are not being condescending or telling underprivileged people how they should feel on their issues.

So here is the ultimate problem with the word. It is a lazy crutch and it just sounds dumb. It is also using sexism to combat sexism. (See, explaining something is not bad but by adding a gender to the word it turns the word into a negative). And since it  doesn’t adequately cover all examples of privileged folks speaking down to underprivileged folks, can’t we just use real words to criticize bad behavior and avoid describing bad behavior by assigning it a gender?

———– Edited to add this

When I was learning all about how to be a better feminist I would listen to women. One of the things that I heard repeatedly is that “gendering” a term to make it a negative was sexist and wrong. That, I think, is my ultimate problem with the word. It is often used by feminists but yet goes against feminist principals.

There is no one right way to be a feminist. But there are plenty of wrong ways. And to me, use of this word is one of the wrong ways.